With the Republican presidential primary starting to heat up, now is a good time to discuss supporting political candidates. I am doing this from a radical libertarian viewpoint.
First, the most difficult thing for most people to realize is that our solutions will not be political. Solutions to our problems and movement toward a more peaceful society and more free market society will not come about with political candidates. It will come about with a change in public opinion and with technology.
Ron Paul has had a big effect in favor of liberty. He has been mostly ineffective in getting legislation passed up until this point. His big impact has been educating others, whether he realizes it or not. I say that we should not rely on political solutions and yet Ron Paul is a politician (although not a typical one). But he has used his political position not to pass legislation, but to use it as a podium. It has given him a platform from which to spread his message of liberty.
My next point is, that while I don't think we should rely on political solutions, I am not against voting or supporting political candidates. Even if you consider yourself an anarchist, there is nothing wrong with voting if you think it will further the cause of liberty.
With all of that said, if you are going to support a political candidate, you should make darn sure that he or she is really on your side. In most elections, you simply should not vote or else you should write in a name that is not on the ballot. Although it will vary depending on where you live, I would say that you shouldn't be voting in at least 90% of races. Voting for the lesser of two evils will not usually get you very far. Besides the fact that your vote probably won't make a difference, the lesser of the two evils will most likely turn out to be evil.
If you are going to support someone, I understand that the person doesn't have to have the exact same thoughts and opinions as you. I do not agree with Ron Paul on 100% of the issues, but I will support him. When I say "support", I mean that I will encourage others to support him and donate money to him. Whether I switch my party registration to Republican and actually vote for him, I don't know.
The reason I will support Ron Paul is because I know he is real. He does not back down and give you some political garbage that he thinks you want to hear. He has a track record of consistency (in a good way) and he is specific in what he will do.
I don't think I could support any other Republican candidate for president and I certainly would never support Obama. Therefore, I will most likely vote third party or not at all, if Ron Paul does not get the nomination. I would only consider Gary Johnson if he starts offering specifics that I like and he is saying it with force. For example, if he said he would end the federal war on drugs and pardon all non-violent drug offenders convicted of a federal offense, then I would support him if I thought he was serious.
There are no other Republicans worthy of support if you are a libertarian. Herman Cain is a fraud. He will support the bankers. He is in favor of the Fair Tax because he is not interested in dramatically cutting spending. If he did want to cut spending, he could advocate eliminating the income tax and replacing it with nothing.
Newt Gingrich is a total fraud. He sat there with Nancy Pelosi and talked about the dangers of global warming. Mitt Romney instituted Obamacare in Massachusetts before Obamacare even existed. Even Michelle Bachman, who sometimes sounds half decent on fiscal issues, cannot be trusted. She is a militarist and she is not specific and forceful enough on domestic issues.
If you are a libertarian, I would suggest you support Ron Paul. Aside from him, there are not many candidates to support for other offices. Only concern yourself with politics in that it can affect your life and your money. You should know what is going on so that you will know what is coming. However, if you want to make an impact in advancing liberty, then try to stay away from too much political activity. Instead, concentrate on educating yourself and becoming a better spokesman for liberty. Continue to spread the word and try to live your life in the best way that you can so that you are not dependent on the state.